Travel Information, Dining Recs, Tips, & Tricks Mega Thread

Good sushi recommendations for Tokyo? Street food or other interesting places to eat?
 
Good sushi recommendations for Tokyo? Street food or other interesting places to eat?

For the most part, sushi is fresh and decent (much better than US average) pretty much anywhere you go. And from decent to sublime there’s a bit of a monetary hike. Are you thinking whole family out, or romantic date? How much do you want to spend?

Also - every day food in Japan in general is a) fascinating, b) not expensive and c) decent in most places. Just take the opportunity to try anything and everything that catches your eye: soba, ramen, yakitori, unagi, tempura - all have their own dedicated restaurants. Even 7-11 food is fun to try :)
 
Thinking of doing a day trip to Kamakura to get out of the city. Is it worth seeing the shirt shop while there?

Any advice on muting a nice high end Japanese kitchen knife? Do they do other knives as well? Like pocket knives?
 
Also, what’s the coffee scene like there? Is it as ubiquitous as the West? I mostly just need an inhuman dose of caffeine to get moving each morning, but if it is a decent coffee that is a bonus. Wife is more into exploring teas and coffees with subtleties.
 
Thinking of doing a day trip to Kamakura to get out of the city. Is it worth seeing the shirt shop while there?

Never been, but can recommend both Kawagoe (old Edo period town) and Yokohama (for the Stadium and the Ramen Museum) as fun day trips to get out of Tokyo.

Any advice on muting a nice high end Japanese kitchen knife? Do they do other knives as well? Like pocket knives?

There are plenty of stores in Tokyo that have really nice knives, but these can be EXPENSIVE. And depending on what you want/use, you might be better off buying online. They do have other knives.

With these caveats out of the way, Kappabashi street is known as kitchen city - hundreds of stores with all things kitchen and cooking, and there are a good number of mid to high end knife stores there. It’s a cool area to visit.
 
Also, what’s the coffee scene like there? Is it as ubiquitous as the West? I mostly just need an inhuman dose of caffeine to get moving each morning, but if it is a decent coffee that is a bonus. Wife is more into exploring teas and coffees with subtleties.

Japanese people are second to none in coffee consumption, and as with everything that obsesses them, they are excellent at it. Google search specialty coffee in Tokyo and you’ll find a stupid number of shops of all flavors, colors and themes, both drip as well as Italian style.

A fun rabbit hole in that category are the “jazz kissa”, short for kissaten - cafe - , jazz bars and cafes from the 60’s and 70’s where you go to have a drink or a coffee and listen to old records. There are about a dozen or so original ones all around Tokyo. Google is your friend
 
Go to a cat cafe!

Also, make sure to take the wife out to a nice bar and have a bartender fix you up a specialty drink or a nice ice ball

 
Go to a cat cafe!

Also, make sure to take the wife out to a nice bar and have a bartender fix you up a specialty drink or a nice ice ball


A cafe already is already on the list!

After watching so much Tokyo Vice, I kinda want to leave the kids in the hotel one night and go to a yakuza hostess bar or whatever they see called, just to observe.
 
I’m in Houston this week - any recommendations?
It’s a big city. What part of town? How much time do you have? Any special interests/desires?

Next time, if you can give me a little advance notice I could meet you for lunch or an early drink
 
And I’m assuming you aren’t driving

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It’s a big city. What part of town? How much time do you have? Any special interests/desires?

Next time, if you can give me a little advance notice I could meet you for lunch or an early drink

We’re staying close to Bellaire - don’t have a lot of time, mostly evenings. Leaving on Sunday. Not driving.
Mostly interested in food, I’d say? But if there’s anything else of interest, shoot!
How far are you?
 
We’re staying close to Bellaire - don’t have a lot of time, mostly evenings. Leaving on Sunday. Not driving.

I don’t know it well, but that’s an inner loop suburb. Nice place and close to both the Galleria Area and University (Midtown and River Oaks, too) but there isn’t much actually in Bellaire. You’re probably going to have to do a 5 to 10 minute Uber.

Mostly interested in food, I’d say? But if there’s anything else of interest, shoot!
The art galleries and museums are pretty good. Aside from that, I’m not exactly a good ambassador for this swamp.

The foodie scene is strong here with lots of great restaurants. I can work on narrowing it down to some specific reccs, but you name it and it’s available here. For visitors, BBQ, Tex-Mex, real Mex and Vietnamese are go-tos. There are some places doing great things with modern Southern, but the trad Southern that attracts the tourists is pretty stodgy and bland.

How far are you?

10 miles …. so about an hour away in peak-hour traffic 😂
 
These all work for me.
We are next to Galleria actually
The Galleria is good for fine dining. Date nights, client meetings etc. lots of great food - but nothing too edgy or unique. Caracol is good for legit Mexican. Ninfa’s is one of the oldest and beloved Tex Mex places and they just moved from their historic location to the Galeria - recommended. Cyclone Anayas would be my second choice.

For BBQ, you’ll need to go a little further (or Uber eats?). My recommendation would be Truth BBQ. Pinkerton’s is also great.

La Colonial for upscale French-Vietnamese. Otherwise, for great Vietnamese you’ll have to go to midtown (or out to Chinatown, but that’s a hike).
 
The Galleria is good for fine dining. Date nights, client meetings etc. lots of great food - but nothing too edgy or unique. Caracol is good for legit Mexican. Ninfa’s is one of the oldest and beloved Tex Mex places and they just moved from their historic location to the Galeria - recommended. Cyclone Anayas would be my second choice.

For BBQ, you’ll need to go a little further (or Uber eats?). My recommendation would be Truth BBQ. Pinkerton’s is also great.

La Colonial for upscale French-Vietnamese. Otherwise, for great Vietnamese you’ll have to go to midtown (or out to Chinatown, but that’s a hike).
Thanks!!
 
If you like crawfish, today might be the day for you. This place is good, but there are also some interesting Vietnamese crawfish places not too far as well

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lol gulf oysters are cheaper.
Why lol? Aren’t they always? Especially around this corner of the gulf, you are taking some risks eating them. They are meaty and mild, lacking the sweetness of cold water cousins.
 
Heading to Tokyo in less than two weeks. We’ve got a bunch of shit booked and a list (well actually a Google Map with pins) of possible places to go (see, experience, shop, eat, etc). It’s going to be a busy week, but from there we go on to Australia for some time to relax with fam.

Any last minute suggestions still welcome!
 
Heading to Tokyo in less than two weeks. We’ve got a bunch of shit booked and a list (well actually a Google Map with pins) of possible places to go (see, experience, shop, eat, etc). It’s going to be a busy week, but from there we go on to Australia for some time to relax with fam.

Any last minute suggestions still welcome!
Don't underestimate dining etc in 7/11s. Most have a small area to sit and eat and pretty bloody good food. From memory some sell small cans of sake too.

I got a kick out of the vending machines in random places in residential streets. Great to get a HOT small can of coffee.

Bad experiences::
Tokyo Zoo was sad and depressing - animals neurotic in small enclosures.
Small noodle cafe or similar - all very nice and cheap until 2 blokes walking in and light up cigarettes at next booth or table. No smoking on streets except in small designated areas but OK to smoke in small cafe. Dunno if its changed.
 
Don't underestimate dining etc in 7/11s. Most have a small area to sit and eat and pretty bloody good food. From memory some sell small cans of sake too.
100% disagree. Please don't do this. Tokyo is a wonderful city with literally tens of thousands of amazing food options. Please don't dine at a convenience store.
Literally every single other option (walk in sushi, conveyor belt sushi, soba, ramen, udon, izakayas, yakitoris and yakinikus, kissaten, tempura-yas) will be better than a 7-11
 
Do recommend trying some fast food just to get the quality and taste difference between the US.
 
If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?
 
We are off to Korea (South) in September.
The first week and a bit we are set - Ms has an international women's group art exhibition in Gwangju she's part of so they have organised a bus to pick us up in Seoul and take us there and organised the week of food, booze, tours, art etc - not a minute to spare. We'll sped a couple of days after that in Gwangju decompressing and freelancing. Would be happy to hear anyone's experience of Gwangju - especially music - jazz, classical etc. Keen to catch some Korean Reggae/Ska bands. (Yes its a thing).

Then we are up to Seoul for a few days. Probably want to stay around Jongno stations 1 - 4- any accommodation recommendations gratefully accepted. Also music and "Melbourne Coffee" cafes.

Then fly back home with 3 days in break on long flight in Singapore - never been before - any similar recommendations.
 

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